Russia, again, doesn’t let ships under Black Sea grain deal through
Photo via EPA

Russia on Thursday again blocked the so-called grain corridor that allows safe passage of ships under the Black Sea grain deal, Ukraine’s ministry of communities, territories and infrastructure said in a statement.

Over the last two days, Russia registered only one incoming vessel for inspection at the Chornomorsk port without giving a reason therefor, while the other parties to the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul agreed to let ten vessels enter three ports.

Since today, Russia has refused to register the incoming fleet at all, Ukraine’s ministry said.

It added fifty vessels are waiting in the queue for inspection in Turkish territorial waters, carrying 2.4 million tonnes of food, with some awaiting inspection for more than three months.

The Ukrainian delegation sent a letter to the Joint Coordination Centre secretariat demanding that it resume full operations with three inspection teams and nine inspections per day.

The grain deal, struck in July 2022, provided for limited exports of Ukrainian grain through three Black Sea ports, which had been blocked since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has claimed that the current grain deal does not guarantee its agricultural exports, allegedly blocked by Western sanctions in response to its aggression against Ukraine.

Moscow threatened to pull out of the agreement if its demands were not met, but on Wednesday, Turkish president Recep Erdogan announced that Russia had agreed not to withdraw for another two months.

On 28 May, ships with Ukrainian grain began to leave Odesa after a long break.